by Rachel Goldstein owner of Allfreelancework.com
- 1000s of freelance jobs
office hours are often necessary for freelance professionals.
This is exactly why so many of us have chronic headaches,
cracking wrists, tingling fingers, and stiff necks.
All of these symptoms can be avoided by designing your
home office with ergonomics on your mind. This article
will summarize the basics of home office ergonomic design.
- Your chair is the most important piece of furniture
in your office. You want to find a comfortable chair
that has the following characteristics.
2. Lower, raise, and tilt backwards
3. 16" to 20" off of the floor
4. Lumbar support
5. Good backrest and wide enough to support shoulders
6. Chair's seat should allow 1"-4" of space between
edge of chair and your knees
7. Front edge of seat is curved
8. 5 wheels
9. Padded armrests that can lower or raise
you purchase your chair, make sure to give it a test
drive. If possible, move the chair that you like in
front of a desk and see how it feels. Adjust the seat
so that your feet are flat on the floor. When you do
this the lumbar support should fit into the small of
your back. If the chair fits your body and meets our
guidelines, purchase the chair. A good chair will cost
anywhere from $400 - $2,000.
- Before purchasing a desk, evaluate your needs.
What is your profession? What equipment will you be
using? How much desktop room will you need? Make sure
to allow space for computer equipment, telephone, Rolodex,
other office supplies, and writing room. Make sure that
you will have room for heavily used items on your desk,
or you might have to constantly stretch, twist, and
turn to reach items that you need. Height-adjustable
large tables are found to have cost-effective benefits.
These tables let you move from keyboard to side table
without having to hunch your shoulders.
/ MOUSE TRAY - Since it is so important to have
your wrists at the right height when using input devices,
a tray system is important to consider as an option.
Choose a system that has the following features:
2. Adjustable angle
3. Allows for upper arm relaxation by right angle position
should place your keyboard 28"-30" off of the floor.
If your keyboard is too low you will slump over your
keyboard, and if it is too high you will strain your
wrists. You should also purchase a wrist pad for in
front of your keyboard to cushion your wrists.
- The use of a mouse causes injuries to many people.
The mouse often causes twisting of the hand into uncomfortable
positions, which causes wrist injuries. Try to use the
mouse with a sweeping movement, instead of a quick,
twisting motion. Use your mouse as little as possible,
but if you find that you can't do this, consider purchasing
a trackball instead. Trackballs are good because you
can program a lock button so you don't have to click
- Split-and-Tilt keyboards tend to be better for your
health than flat keyboards that most people use. A good
keyboard will not flatten your hands and bend your wrists.
- Good lighting in your home office is important
to reduce eyestrain. Here are some lighting suggestions:
Make sure lighting isn't too bright.
2. Avoid white reflective furniture.
3. If you are using a desk lamp, choose a low wattage
light bulb. Direct light toward papers, not eyes.
4. Use blinds or drapes to eliminate outdoors light.
5. Avoid bright lighting on your monitor.
- It is important to position the monitor correctly
to ensure your good health.
Position monitor to minimize glare.
2. Adjust monitor so that the screen is slightly below
3. Clean screen on a regular basis.
4. Position yourself about 20"-24" away from the monitor.
5. Center your monitor on the user.
6. Keep your head at a comfortable level.
POSTURE - Ergonomic equipment will do nothing for
you if you don't assume correct posture. Make sure of
2. Wrists straight
3. Back in contact with lumbar support of your chair
4. Legs in contact with your seat
5. Feet on the floor
6. Elbows at a right angle when typing
7. Upper arm and elbow close to body
8. Head and neck straight
that you know your ergonomic basics, use this knowledge
to your advantage. Position yourself and your equipment
correctly to ensure a quality-working environment. Healthy
working to you!
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